Join us on an entertaining, cultural, and educational journey through Asia with a breath-taking visit to beautiful lands with age-old cultures, through the lively sights and sounds of traditional folk dances, music, songs, a unique performance of Japanese puppet, and an extravagant traditional fashion show.
Members of the campus and Dayton communities will have an opportunity to learn more about Japanese culture through the powerful performing art of traditional Japanese puppet theater known as the “Bunraku” or “Ningyo Joruri” by the Bunraku Bay Puppet Troupe.
Bunraku is an art style created in Osaka, Japan, that dates back to the 16th century under the Edo period. The puppets, all custom-made in Japan, stand half-to life-sized, about 3 to 5 feet tall. They are elegantly dressed in kimonos and other traditional Japanese costumes. The puppets do not represent specific people but are considered universal character types. It takes three performers to operate each one, and the puppeteers are dressed in black but fully fusible to the audience. These puppets do not use string but a series of handles and hooks controlled by the carefully trained puppeteers.
The Bunraku Bay Puppet Troupe, the only troupe in the United States that performs the “Bunraku,” will offer performances of pieces from the traditional Bunraku repertoire: the Kotobuki Shiki Sanbaso, a lively, celebratory dance piece that opens a program of puppet theater; Yaoga Oschichi, the story of a woman who must climb a fire tower and sacrifice herself on a snowy night to save her lover; and the Lion Dance or Shishimai, a puppet version of the dance performed frequently at festivals throughout Japan. The original puppeteers of the Bunraku Bay Puppet Troupe were trained in Japan by members of the popular traditional Bunraku puppet troupes. The Bunraku Bay Puppet Troupe has performed in Japan as well as at a wide range of venues over 30 states in the United States including the Smithsonian, the Kennedy Center, the University of Chicago, the Japan Society of New York, the Toronto Music Festival, etc.
This event is free and open to the public. For the full 2017 Asian Heritage Month Calendar of Events, please visit our website at www.wright.edu/ana or stop by the Asian and Native American Center in 154 Millett.